THE RETREAT: ISLAND PARK

Abbey Armstrong and I begun as a mentorship. It gave us an excuse to become the bestest of bestest friends. Although she went on to grow into one of the most talented photographers and business moguls I know. There is nobody besides her that has the drive and gumption to kill it that quickly in this business. 

We've joined forces with our love to help others develop and nurture there passions. To most it seems counterproductive to help someone else succeed to go on to be a competitor. But we see the value in building a network of photographers who's goal is to create beautiful art, grow friendships, refer clients who may be a better fit for another specialized photographer, and help guide the industry to help our clients see the value in what we do. 

Together we are greater.

Besides that, who wouldn't want to work alongside their best friends?

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This particular retreat was special though. Truly a week to recharge, connect with other kind hearted women who seem to have all been on the same level. We needed this retreat to uplift each other. I walked away from this a better person. I tried more to listen to others instead of always speaking. I laughed harder than I've ever laughed before. I connected with girls that I would not have known given my hermit lifestyle choices. I felt like we were raw and real. Thank you all for coming to hang with us. We truly had the best time xo 

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A HUGE THANKS TO

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MAULOA FLORALS

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SLICED PEPPER

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BLUE MOOSE CABIN

TRAVELING WITH KIDS

Christina is a good friend of mine who makes traveling motherhood look like a breeze. She's also a talented couples, portrait, and family photographer so she knows the fine line between juggling business and being a good mama. I'm always in awe of her selfless attitude towards her family and especially towards her kids. Read more about her below to see how she keeps it all together....

 Follow christina @capturedbychristina_

Follow christina @capturedbychristina_

20 QUESTIONS

  1. Celebrity crush? Jason Mamoa
  2. Khloe, Kim or Kortney Kardashian? If I have to choose, Khloe
  3. Favorite TV show? F.R.I.E.N.D.S
  4. Coffee order? Iced Hazelnut breve +extra sweet
  5. Superhero power? To fly or teleport
  6. Current song on repeat? Anything country- Old Dominion Radio 
  7. Woman you most admire? 
  8. If you weren’t doing personal training, you’d be… Running a half marathon, after baby thats my first goal.
  9. Go to recipe? My salmon recipe. Everyone loves it even Kai. Its so so easy too and I just made it up.
  10. Morning or night? Morning
  11. If you could live anywhere else, where would it be? I love Idaho but if we had to move to any other state I'd say Colorado.
  12. Favorite color? Purple
  13. Newest hobby? Gardening (domestic life)
  14. Hobby you’ve given up but miss? Crafting - scrapbooking
  15. Scariest moment of your life? This is a long, terrifying story, but Kaimana ran away like 4 weeks ago.
  16. Favorite city? Kauai, Hawaii
  17. Summer or winter? Summer
  18. Favorite instagram account you follow? Oh so many. Yours, @wildflowerboise, @thirtyminded, @jillatogwe
  19. Nsync or Backstreet boys? TIE
  20. Words to live by? Do no harm, but take no shit!
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Okay so traveling with kids- the terrifying- not so terrifying journey. I started traveling with our son Kaimana at 3 weeks old. That was a little earlier than I had wished but my Koukla (grandmother) was close to the end so we made the journey from California back to Idaho one last time to see her before she passed. I do not regret for one moment that Kaimana and her got to meet for the first time before she left us just a few weeks later.

And here we are just a few weeks into age three and Kaimana has reached ALMOST 100+ flights.

I have listed my top 6 tips for traveling with children in no particular order. I am no expert, these are solely things that have worked for me. I do get asked all the time things I do, what I pack, how I do it by myself, all the questions, so I hope I can help some of you mamas & or papas out. 

  1. Start them young. Just like anything else you do if it becomes part of the ordinary or routine kids adapt super quick. I am not saying everyone needs to travel + fly with their kids at 3 weeks but you can't be afraid to never do it or you will be that parent on the flight or at dinner with a 5 year old screaming the entire way or laying on the floor throwing a fit. 
  2. Always be prepared. Whether you are on a road trip, flight, at a professional game, concert, or even just outing to eat you must always be prepared. If it seems like too much stuff, you still probably don't have enough. And you will still probably forget the one thing you need but having lots of options is key. Diapers, wipes, extra pair of clothes, toys, snacks, blankets, wipes, hand sanitizer, lotion, medicines, sunscreen,  etc.
  3. Don't change your life and living just because you have a baby. I 100% feel that every child is different, and every parent requires their own rules, schedules, agendas, etc. but I never ONCE changed my schedule or gave up things I needed to do just because of that. Kaimana went wherever I needed to go. If it was nap time and he fell asleep in the car he fell asleep in the car, if it was nap time and I wanted to go to target- he slept in the stroller. There was NO we have to be home at this time and this time because its when he naps. I just wasn't that mom. Kai can still to this day sleep anywhere. I can transfer him in and out of car to home or store, he can sleep at my husbands NFL games if they land at nap time, he's been like that since he was a baby. But again thats just because thats all he knows. If you only let your kid sleep in a crib, at home, at the same time. Thats the only place they will sleep. And if that works for you great but if you plan to sleep anywhere else relatives, hotels, etc just know its going to be rough.
  4. Even if it's just you and your baby, YOU CAN DO IT! I get asked so many times about just specifially airport travel with Kaimana so I'm just going to touch on that. Out of the 90+ flights we are currently at, Michael (my husband) has been on maybe 15 with us. Its always been just Kai and myself and I promise you, you CAN all do it. So here is what you need to do: Bring the stroller, always bring the damn stroller. I check the carseat with my baggage and ALL airlines let you check a carseat for free. I bring either a backpack or diaper bag when he was smaller my purse and the stroller. Bring a baby carrier or wrap for when they are smaller and stuff that diaper back or backpack full of everything you need. Medicine (travel size), bottles, refillable water bottles, wipes, sanitizers, ALL the snacks, blankets, extra clothes, toys, books, stuffed animals, anything you feel that will keep them entertained. Your purse should just have what you can live with because carrying all the baby stuff, plus the baby, plus a heavy purse is just no good. Wallet, magazine or book, sunglasses, snack for yourself, light sweater, chapstick, lysol spray for everything, etc. You run into bumps along the way (delays, shitty airline service, and those things just out of our control) almost all airlines let you gate check it so you can bring it with you all the way to boarding. I DO NOT, and I REPEAT WILL NOT ever fly American Airlines or Allegiant in my life with or without child. My go to airlines are Delta, Alaska, and Southwest (in no particular order). I never bought a seat for Kaimana until I had to at age 2. But I always went up to the gate before boarding and asked if the flight was full and if it wasn't if they could change my seat so I could have extra room for the baby. 95% of the time its no problem.
  5. Schedule your traveling with what works best for you. Don't schedule a flight at 6 am knowing you have to be there at 4 am with baby and find a ride and blah blah blah. Just don't. Don't stress it doesn't help anything if you are flustered and nervous and in a bad mood. Your child senses all of those things and it just makes it hard for everyone. Just try to be as happy and pleasant as you can to everyone. 
  6. Eating out. This is something we have never had a problem with, but again we started taking Kai out to eat with us ever since he was first born. When you first have a baby at most you can stay in is like 5 days, at least thats how I was and I had to get out of the house. Fresh air for you and your kids does a body good and noise and business of stores or restaurants actually can help you in the long run if your kids don't have to be in complete silence. Do whatever you feel comfortable with for sure and good luck!

HAPPY CACTUS

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Hi I'm Jessica!

I'm 24 and live in Pocatello, ID with my husband, Brandon, and our two mini aussies, Luna and Kona. I graduated from ISU last year from the College of Business and work as the Marketing Director at a local healthcare management company. I CrossFit every day and run my small business in my "free time". I love all things happy, crafty, and thrifty. 

I started Happy Cactus as a way to connect with other women while creating items that can be cherished forever. I love hearing the sentimental stories behind every piece and seeing my creations on others! My motto for Happy Cactus is "happy looks beautiful on you" and my goal is to spread happiness through the pieces I create!

 follow along on insta @happycactusbrand

follow along on insta @happycactusbrand

20 QUESTIONS

  1. Celebrity crush? This one is also my lady crush..it's CrossFit icon Brooke Ence. I got to work out with her and be in her vlog a few weeks ago!
  2. Khloe, Kim or Kortney Kardashian? Kortney
  3. Favorite TV show? Crazy Ex-Girlfriend...or This is Us. Gets me every time.
  4. Coffee order? My home made latte with 2 shots of espresso!
  5. Superhero power? I can see the good in everything.
  6. Current song on repeat? Have Faith in Me by A Day to Remember
  7. Woman you most admire? My girl crush and celebrity crush...Brooke Ence :) 
  8. If you weren’t doing personal training, you’d be… aerial silks
  9. Go to recipe? chicken street tacos!
  10. Morning or night? MORNING!!
  11. If you could live anywhere else, where would it be? Boise or St. George
  12. Favorite color? currently...sage green
  13. Newest hobby? soldering rings!
  14. Hobby you’ve given up but miss? gymnastics
  15. Scariest moment of your life? In college I lived in an apartment with 5 other girls...one day a large man broke in through the back door and tried to get into our rooms..he eventually left when no one would open their doors but later we found out that he got arrested in an unrelated incident for stalking and assault. Scary to think what could have happened! 
  16. Favorite city? Princeville, Kauai
  17. Summer or winter? Summer all the way
  18. Favorite instagram account you follow? @twofakehands...these two ladies do the most random things using two barbie doll hands. It is hilarious.
  19. Nsync or Backstreet boys? back.street's.back.ALRIGHT!
  20. Words to live by? You can do anything, but not everything. It is my reminder to focus on the good things I am achieving daily rather than what else I want to (or feel like I "should") be doing. It is also a good reminder for me that it is okay to ask for help!
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